Coronavirus May Make it Difficult to Have a Dry January

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Recently, most of the reports on trends in alcohol intake show an increase in consumption throughout the world. More and more people are succumbing to drinking in order to keep their levels of stress low since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the effects of the ongoing global health crisis, quitting alcohol and maintaining a dry January this year.

Dry January refers to the practice of going alcohol-free for the entire month. The majority of people follow this tradition due to frequent drinking during the holiday season and new year’s eve in order to prevent any negative health effects and to get back to normal life.

For such people, doing so this year may be much harder than before. Even though vaccinations for coronavirus prevention have been approved and distributed, it may still take a long time for the pandemic to be over. During this period, the stress levels will likely remain high.

In fact, some countries may have to re-impose or continue coronavirus restrictions for weeks even with vaccines. Precisely, at least the first few months of this year are not going to be any different than the past year. As a result, many people may turn back to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Whether it is out of stress or boredom, consuming alcohol frequently can be harmful both in the short and long-term. According to the findings of a recent survey, one-third of the participants reported consuming four or more drinks per day, which is way above the recommended amount.

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At this rate, the majority, including younger people can develop alcohol addiction and associated problems. In order to prevent this, experts recommend looking for the root of the issue. The reason for stress or excessive drinking can vary from one person to another.

For instance, people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are bound to resort to drinking and alcohol as a coping mechanism for financial insecurity and familial burnout.

Others may consume alcohol out of reduced social interaction and loneliness due to isolation. Young adults are also surprisingly a part of this category. This is because many of the younger people living away from home due to work or college have not been able to return to their homes even during last year’s holiday season.

As a consequence, they have consumed a much higher amount of alcohol while being alone or even in smaller groups of friends. So, what can be done to have a dry January in such circumstances?

After recognizing the reason, try to come up with an effective solution such as taking up a new habit. For people who drink under stress, try learning a new skill, enrolling in a new class, cooking, or any similar activity that will distract from thoughts of drinking as well as help with stress.

Another helpful tip is to keep daily reminders of why quitting is important either in the form of sticky notes or set the option on the phone. During this period, try to connect and talk more often with friends and family. Do not be hesitant in reaching out to professional help to get a potential addiction under control as soon as possible.


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Abeera I. Kazmi

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